On May 23, for the third time in as many years, there will be a release of prehistoric American Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) into Big Cypress Bayou at the Jefferson, Texas Boat Ramp located adjacent to the Jefferson Transportation and Visitor Center at the foot of S. Washington Street.
Collins Academy, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Caddo Lake Institute, will release the fish in Jefferson as part of the on-going USFWS’s East Texas- Oklahoma Emphasis Area, Big Cypress Bayou Restoration Project. Several thousand two-inch long larvae will be released at the Boat Ramp in the early afternoon to augment the thousands of one and two-year old fish already released by scientists.
Prior to the release of paddlefish, Pollinator Daze activities will be conducted by Collins Academy staff at Port Jefferson History & Nature Center Park for school children and interested adults. Because it is a restored prairie wildscape, the location next to the Jefferson boat launch facility will be used to introduce participants to the Park’s new Live Hive honeybee colony and to discover some of the characteristics of prairie ecology utilizing prairie wildlife. Additionally, participants who come early will be provided survey forms to gather current data about Monarch Butterfly use of milkweed specimen in the park.
“This year’s event is different because our Paddlefish Project grant funding expired. Collins Academy’s natural science offerings now reflect a more focused suite of activities aimed at improving local wildlife habitat. We have managed to expand our service area to include the Sulphur River Basin to the north,” stated Gary Endsley, Director of Collins Academy.
The tentative schedule for May 23, 2017, beginning at the Jefferson Transportation & Visitor Center:
9:00: Live Hive Grand Opening
– Biologist Robert Haynes will display the new instructional hive…
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